This beautiful bottle pours out a perfectly lovely measure of the water of life. Knowing its provenance perhaps predisposes me to think that the nose is quintessentially Irish: sweet, grassy, even upturned and freckled. Delicious lemons with their bumpy rinds marked in chalk numbers as if readied for a race. Remarkably light and thin on the mouth. No cloying or attention seeking here. Instead, consider the quiet, self-effacing labor of a platoon of little angels supplied with leather-handled pine needles performing acupuncture on my tongue, then dabbing the tiny wounds with blood orange juice. The finish is long. Cherry pie? No, a Hostess Dolly Madison pie whose wax paper wrapper is soaked in palm oil and vegetable shortening. This gives way to bamboo whispers and juniper berries. Remarkably, a few drops of water prompts more fruitiness—a fermented fruit salad left with FARC-supporting green peppers, who march it into a rainforest. Or fruitcake fruit picked out and discarded by crows, blended in a Cuisinart, and whipped into a meringue in a copper mixing bowl. Clearly, it is a triumph.
The Bushmills 12 is Malachy McCourt‘s remark: “I love the sound of words. They have in my mouth almost the texture of nuts.”–That’s what she said?
–John thanks Tom for his generous gift and praises his ingenuity at customs. Slàinte!